Friday, March 18, 2011

Davis Bayou CG, Gulf Shore National Seashore, Ocean Springs, MS

We were in Mississippi for three nights and two days, staying at Davis Bayou Campground, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This campground is not on all maps. The price with a Senior Pass is $8 with electricity and water. If you go there with GPS coordinates be careful. Our GPS brought us into the bikepath on the west side of the park. We had to unhook the car, drive back to Hwy 90, and drive farther east to find the entrance.

Dean loves a campfire and this was the first location that we could have a fire since we left west Texas. He has a great way of collecting fire while bike riding.

We hiked th trails in the park and did some bike riding.

There was one aligator that sunned on the bank opposite a bridge in the park. One day (while some fishermen were fishing on the bridge) he swam over to the bridge and I got some great pictures.

We drove into Biloxi and visited the Jeferson Davis Home, Beauvoir, and took a tour. The home has a great view of the water. After Jefferson Davis and a couple of other owners, Beauvoir was turned into a home for Confederacy veterans. It was heavily damaged in Hurricane Katrina but was restored to its original shape. Dean and I enjoyed the rocking chairs on the large front porch while waiting for our tour.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Amato's Winery and New Orleans

After leaving Betty’s in Abbeville we stopped at Amato’s Winery outside of Independence, LA. We found Amato’s through Harvest Hosts. For those of you that do not know about Harvest Hosts I am enclosing their website:

We plan on using these hosts a lot on our trip. If you join Harvest Hosts, mention my name.

Amato’s was a beautiful setting in the country with a pond, fields, and lots of trees. Henry and Jesse were very busy getting out cases of wine for an upcoming festival. They were very hospitable and even suggested some festivals to see while in the area.

On Saturday we went to New Orleans to see the French Quarter. We drove on Hwy 55 down to Interstate 10. Dean was amazed at the amount of water; we drove over 33 miles of highway that was elevated on concrete pillars between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain. The day before we drove over Atchfalaya Basin between Lafayette and Baton Rouge with miles and miles of elevated highway. No wonder the nickname for this state is the Wetlands.

We walked around the French Quarter seeing all the famous landmarks: Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, French Market, Preservation Hall, and the Mississippi River. Bourbon Street is lined with bars and restaurants. We had lunch on Bourbon St at the Cajun Cabin and tried some Cajun specialties: crawfish ettouffee and red beans and rice. Then we walked down Royal Street, which I thought was the highlight of the day. This street was closed off to traffic and street musicians and magicians were performing along the street. I bought a CD of one singing group and had my picture taken with them. We really enjoyed our day in the French Quarter. Maybe the next time we come it will be for Mardi Gras!

Jackson Squrare, St. Louis Catherdral, and carriage rides off Decatur Street.

Dean leaning on the oil lamps. The balconies were still decorated a week after Mardi Gras.

One of the bands playing on Royal Street. This guy could puff out his cheeks like Louis Armstrong.

Jay-Ray & Gee Trio on Royal Street.